These 5 Yoga Poses Are Great for Detoxification

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Yoga is an incredible aid for assisting in detoxification. The stretching and movement stimulates all cleansing functions (circulatory, digestive and lymph) of the body, meaning that if you are currently detoxifying your diet and therefore your body, this practice can help you speed the process up and increase the effectiveness of the detox as well, reaching into the deep dark corners of the body. An added benefit of yoga is that one is able to gauge the ease of the practice to their needs, so if you choose to do a juice fast, a slower moving, gentler practice would suffice. If you are simply upleveling your food choices however, and still consuming regular amounts of food, you can most definitely participate in a more challenging practice – in fact, you may have quite a large amount of energy and need more of a challenge! Whether or not you choose to go to a class, follow a yoga DVD or a spread from a magazine, there are 5 excellent poses for reaching into the usual ‘problem areas’ that tend to be storage areas for toxins.

5 Half Lord of the Fishes

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Elevate your hips in a seated position. Bend your knees and slide your left knee forward with your left foot to the outside of the right hip. Step the right foot over the left leg and place it on the outside of the left thigh. Exhaling, twist toward your right hip. Your right hand lightly supports your back and your left elbow anchors on your right thigh. Take 5-10 breaths here, relaxing deeper on each breath. Half Lord of the Fishes pose sounds and looks complicated but it is one of the best for shoulders, hip abductors, neck, IT band, chest and obliques, while strengthening the spinal rotators. Make sure your body is warmed up for this pose.

4 Pigeon

From downward dog, sweep your right knee forward and under your body, flexing the heel and resting it on the outside of the right wrist with your knee pointing out from your hip at about a 45 degree angle. Your navel is either facing straight ahead or down at the floor. Your back leg slides straight back from the left hip. Once as far back as is comfortable for you, rest your front knee, thigh and top of your foot on the mat. Slowly lower your body down over your bent leg with your arms forward. Allow yourself to rest deeply into this pose for as long as you want. Pigeon is excellent for accessing the hip abductors and flexors, an area where many people, particularly women, store toxic-laden fat. Stretching this area will help greatly in your detox process.

3 Seated Forward Fold

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From a seated position with one leg extended, bend your other knee out to the side, bringing the sole of your foot in towards the groin. Keep your thigh at a 90 degree angle, and begin to reach your heart towards your foot by folding over the extended leg. Relax your neck and lengthen from the lower back. Stay here for 10-15 breaths, resting deeper into the pose with each breath, and then repeat on the other side. Massaging the internal organs by stretching the hamstrings and lower back while opening the shoulders and hips, this pose really works the entire body while allowing you to relax into it. Excellent for juice fasting or intense detoxification diets.

2 Seated Spinal Twist

Sitting upright with your legs straight ahead, bring your right knee in placing your foot on the floor in line with your right sitting bone. Use your right hand behind you under our shoulder as you lengthen your spine for a twist. Begin the twist by first turning at your navel, then your ribcage, and then your upper chest. As you rotate, bring your left forearm around to hold your right shin. Draw your right shoulder blade toward your spine to help deepen the twist. Press out through your left heel, keeping your toes pointed. Stay in this pose for 10 to 15 breaths. Squeezing the organs is the main detoxifier in this pose, although you are also strengthening your spine.

1 Downward Dog

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Start on your hands and knees with the surface of your palms pressing into the floor and your toes tucked under in preparation for the pose. Lift your hip up into the air by straightening your legs. Press equally into your hands and feet and lift your sitting bones up as you move your thighs back. Allow your head to hang here. Stay here for 5–10 deep breaths. Getting the heart higher than the head reverses the pull of gravity aiding in the circulation of blood and lymph.

Detoxification is only effective when you actually get the waste out after awakening it, so make sure you are on an effective program that uses one or all of the following: Fresh raw juices, raw fruit, raw foods, food combining, colonics and/or enemas, saunas, and skin brushing.

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